Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Doneen Lois Hewitt

My mother was Doneen Lois Hewitt. Here I will try to gather all the photos, stories, documents I can about her.

She was born 15 Sep 1955 in St. Catharines, Ontario.  Her mother was Doreen Knox and her father was Lewis Henry Hewitt.

She would have been mtDNA haplogroup U8a1.

She always told that when she was a very young girl she had hearing problems, and had to have tubes put in her ears.  She always said that her parents and other adults thought she was being bad by not listening because she would not hear them (ie hear them request her to turn down the very loud TV etc) but eventually they discovered she simply had hearing problems.

In her early teens she had some behaviour issues and went away to a reform school for girls.

When she was about 14 she was in a few photos, taken I think during her one visit home from the reform school:

Doneen Hewitt

Doneen Hewitt

Doneen Hewitt

I believe she may have had a child or children, possibly even twins which were taken from her prior to October of 1973.  It is possible this was during her time at Grandview, or during a time she had run away from Grandview.  I think it is possible that a pregnancy was what landed her in Grandview.  If you think you may know anything about this, please contact me! It is possible that the child or children do not know they were adopted, or that she had used a false name when she had them.  It is also possible that Grandview falsified records.

Sometime prior to October of 1973, when she became involved with my father for a short while, she moved to Vancouver, BC.  She always claimed I was her first child (this is now in question!)  She would have been 18 when she conceived me, and barely 19 when I was born.  At the time (at least as early as Oct 1973 and at least as late as Nov 1974) she was known as Jan Cordelli.

Doreen (Knox) Hewitt, Doneen Hewitt and Kristina Hewitt

Sometime around 1976 her mother Doreen visited her in BC.

Doneen Hewitt and daughter Kristina

If anyone comes across this blog who knew my mother, especially when she was a teen or in her 20s I would love to hear from you (yes, even crazy stories!)

Her first husband was Daryl Wayne Foster.  They married at City Hall in Vancouver on 17 Jan 1977.  Apparently I attended the wedding.  (I have no memory of this, as I was only about 2 years old).

When I was about 4 we moved from Vancouver back to Ontario.  For a time we lived with Doneen's parents.

One of my memories of my mother is of her playing piano, usually Nights in White Satin.

She was also a decent drawer, altho she rarely drew anything.

For a few years she did ceramics with my grandmother.

She was a horrible cook. I made another post about her cookbook. We used to always tell her that her pancakes were terrible. One day to try to prove that they weren't really bad she had my uncle Matt come over while we were in school and make the pancakes for lunch.

When my sister and I came home for lunch we took one bite and exclaimed how delicious they were and asked what did she do differently!?

Sometimes when my siblings and I were little, she would tell us a ghost story about a boy named Johnny.  Johnny was supposed to go to the store and buy some liver for dinner, but instead spent the money on candy, and robbed a grave for a human liver at a cemetery on the way home.  From then on he was haunted at night by a ghost say "Joooooohnnnnny....I want my liiiiiiver back".

She often wore Charlie perfume.

Another quirk about her was that she always considered "stupid" to be a bad word. We also weren't allowed to use the word "hate", as in I "hate" spaghetti for dinner or similar.  

One cute thing she would do is sign "I love you" in the single hand sign.  Then I would sign it back and we would press the 2 fingers and thumbs together and she would say that means "we love each other".  Other than this sign, I am not aware of her knowing any other sign language.  I have no idea how this tradition was started with her.

She smoked Export A cigarettes.

She wore eye glasses.

She sometimes slept with her eyes open.  She also had a problem with sleep walking.  One time in the middle of the night she woke my sister and myself "for school" while sleep walking.  She told us that when she was young she would sleep walk and once woke up under a tractor or something on the farm them lived on.  She also sometimes talked in her sleep.

She was very afraid of spiders and bees.  For quite some time, the fear kept her almost housebound.  Her mother took her to see a hypnotist at some point, and that helped a great deal but she had the phobias still.

She would get cold sores on her mouth and when this happened, she would rub noses with us, calling it "Eskimo kisses".

Doneen Hewitt with Samantha and Katelyn
After I moved to BC, my daughters Samantha and Katelyn would fly back to visit with my mother each year in the summer.  This photo was taken one year during a visit.

Lewis Hewitt, Doneen Hewitt, Tiffany Hewitt, Samantha and Victoria Stewart
A couple times I fly down with my children to visit so my mother could meet my baby daughter Victoria.  The above photo was taken during one of those visits, when we had my grandfather over for Thanksgiving.

She died 30 Sep 2008 in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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